London, UK - 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair is thrilled to announce its return to Somerset House for the eleventh consecutive year, marking its largest flagship fair to date. The fair is scheduled to take place from 12th to 15th October 2023, with a Press Preview on 12th October. As the premier international art fair dedicated to contemporary African and diasporic art, 1-54 London 2023 will feature an impressive roster of over 60 international exhibitors, representing 31 different countries.
This edition boasts the highest number of exhibitors ever and expands its exhibition space within Somerset House. Of the 62 international exhibitors, one-third hail from the African continent, and an impressive 14 galleries are making their debut at the London edition of the fair. Notable newcomers include Affinity Gallery (Lagos, Nigeria), Efie Gallery (Dubai, United Arab Emirates), Asfalto (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Krystel Ann Art (Lisbon, Portugal), Hannah Traore Gallery (New York, USA), and The African Art Hub (London, UK), among others.
A diverse range of both established and emerging artists will be showcased, spanning various mediums from painting and sculpture to mixed media and installation. The exhibition will feature works from renowned artists such as Joana Choumali, Ibrahim El Salahi, and Soly Cissé, as well as emerging talents like Josué Comoe, Anya Paintsil, and Edozie Anedu. In a remarkable collaboration, Moroccan artist Amine El Gotaibi will present his ambitious project, "Illuminate the Light," in the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court at Somerset House.
This installation consists of twelve individual geometric sculptures inspired by pomegranate seeds, symbolizing the diversity and richness of the African continent. By using light as both a physical and metaphorical medium, El Gotaibi aims to challenge Western stereotypes of Africa and promote positive narratives. At twilight, these sculptures transform into luminous installations, embodying the artist's philosophy that "out of darkness, light emerges." Touria El Glaoui, Founding Director, expressed her enthusiasm for this year's event, saying,
We are delighted to welcome more galleries than ever before, with a significant number of galleries based on the continent. Alongside our established artists, you will encounter emerging artists who we are proud to present at the start of their careers.
1-54's partnership with Christie's, now in its fourth year, demonstrates the fair's strong connection with the global auction house. Christie's commitment to showcasing contemporary African art and expanding the fair's international reach is further exemplified by hosting the second iteration of "1-54 Presents," a series of pop-up exhibitions from 9th to 14th October at their London space. Additionally, 1-54 is excited to announce a creative collaboration with Infiniment Coty Paris, a high-end fragrance collection set to launch globally in 2024 by Coty Inc., one of the world's largest beauty companies.
The partnership will feature an Infiniment Coty Paris Art Gallery showcasing dedicated artworks from across Africa, as well as a preview of the 14 fragrances from the upcoming collection through a dedicated installation. Artsy, 1-54's longstanding partner, will host an online edition from 12th to 29th October 2023, allowing visitors to explore, connect with, and collect artworks from all the galleries and artists featured in the fair. For more information and updates, follow Infiniment Coty Paris on Instagram.
List of Participating Galleries
- (S)ITOR (Paris, France)
- 193 Gallery (Paris, France)
- 50 Golborne (London, United Kingdom)
- AFIKARIS (Paris, France)
- Affinity Gallery (Lagos, Nigeria)
- Afriart (Kampala, Uganda)
- Albertz Benda (New York, United States of America)
- Asfalto (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
- Berman Contemporary (Johannesburg, South Africa)
- BKhz (Johannesburg, South Africa)
- Christophe Person (Paris, France)
- Circle Art Gallery (Nairobi, Kenya)
- DADA Gallery (Lagos, Nigeria/London, United Kingdom)
- Doyle Wham (London, United Kingdom)
- Eclectica Contemporary (Cape Town, South Africa)
- Efie Gallery (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
- Eric Dupont (Paris, France)
- Foreign Agent (Lausanne, Switzerland)
- Galerie Carole Kvasnevski (Paris, France / New York, United States of America)
- Galerie Gomis (Brussels, Belgium)
- Galerie La La Lande (Paris, France)
- 110 Véronique Rieffel (Paris, France)
- Galleria Anna Marra (Rome, Italy)
- Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana/London, United Kingdom)
- Gallery Nosco (Brussels, Belgium)
- Luce Gallery (Turin, Italy)
- Guns & Rain (Johannesburg, South Africa)
- Hannah Traore Gallery (New York, United States of America)
- Kalashnikov Gallery (Johannesburg, South Africa)
- Kanbi Projects (Rickmansworth, United Kingdom)
- Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery (London, United Kingdom / Berlin, Germany / Nevlunghavn, Norway / Miami, United States of America)
- Krystel Ann Art (Lisbon, Portugal)
- L'Atelier 21 (Casablanca, Morocco)
- La Galerie 38 (Casablanca / Marrakech, Morocco)
- Loeve&Co (Paris, France)
- Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)
- Maāt Gallery (Paris, France)
- MCC Gallery (Marrakech, Morocco)
- Montresso* Art Foundation (Marrakech, Morocco)
- MOVART (Lisbon, Portugal / Luanda, Angola)
- Nil Gallery (Paris, France)
- October Gallery (London, United Kingdom)
- Perve Galeria (Lisbon, Portugal)
- Portas Vilaseca Galeria (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
- Primo Marella Gallery (Milan, Italy / Lugano, Switzerland)
- Richard Saltoun Gallery (London, United Kingdom / Rome, Italy)
- Sakhile&Me (Frankfurt, Germany)
- SEPTIEME Gallery (Paris, France / Cotonou, Benin)
- SMO Contemporary Art (Lagos, Nigeria)
- So Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)
- TAFETA (London, United Kingdom)
- The African Art Hub (TAAH) (London, United Kingdom)
- The Gallery of Everything (London, United Kingdom)
- THIS IS NOT A WHITE CUBE (Lisbon, Portugal / Luanda, Angola)
- THK Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa)
- UBUNTU Art Gallery (Cairo, Egypt)
- Versant Sud (Marseille, France)
- Vigo Gallery (London, United Kingdom)
- WHATIFTHEWORLD (Cape Town, South Africa)
- HOA Galeria (São Paolo, Brazil)
- Wunika Mukan Gallery (Lagos, Nigeria)
About 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair
With annual editions in London, Marrakech, and New York, as well as pop-up fairs in Paris, 1-54 is the leading international art fair dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora. Drawing reference to the 54 countries that constitute the African continent, 1-54 is a sustainable and dynamic platform engaged in contemporary dialogue and exchange. Initiated by Touria El Glaoui in 2013, October 2023 will mark the fair's 11th anniversary celebrations in London with its flagship fair at Somerset House, London.
Founded in 1766, Christie's is a world-leading art and luxury business, known for its expert live and online auctions, private sales, and global services. Christie's has a physical presence in 46 countries, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris, and Geneva. In 2023, Christie's celebrates its 10th anniversary as the first international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai). Christie's has sold 8 of the 10 most important single-owner collections in history and continues to pioneer new technologies in the art world. For more information, please visit www.christies.com.
Somerset House at 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, London 2023
Somerset House, renowned as the home of cultural innovators, stands as a site of origination, offering a cultural program that presents alternative perspectives on the most pressing issues of our time. They’re a place of joy and discovery, where everyone is invited to Step Inside and Think Outside. From their historic location in the heart of London, they extend their reach globally, engaging with art, creativity, business, and non-profit sectors, nurturing emerging talent, pioneering new methods, and embracing cutting-edge technologies.
Their vibrant community of creative enterprises, arts organisations, artists, and makers makes them a hub of ideas, and the majority of their programmes are homegrown. Somerset House occupy the intersection of artistic and social innovation, uniting diverse worlds and minds to conjure surprising and often enchanting outcomes. Their unwavering curiosity and ability to challenge conventional perspectives are fundamental to their heritage and crucial to our future.
Somerset House Highlights at 1-54
Join them at Somerset House during 1-54 for an enlightening experience, including: "The Missing Thread": Explore the untold stories of Black British fashion in this major new exhibition curated by the Black Oriented Legacy Development Agency. Spanning from the 1970s to the present day, "The Missing Thread" charts the evolving landscape of Black British culture and its unique contributions to Britain's rich fashion design history.
For more information, visit www.somersethouse.org.uk.
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